Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Mentoring A to Z

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Mentoring A to Z

Article excerpt

Mentoring A to Z. Julie Todaro. Chicago: ALA, 2015. 153 p. Paper $58.00. (ISBN 978-0-8389-1329-1).

Staff training and development programs are aimed at all library employees. These processes communicate job expectations, orient the worker to the organization and its resources, and provide information about the library's mission and goals. Mentorship programs, on the other hand, are more often developed for employees at the professional or faculty level, and, ideally, they deal with issues such as long-term professional career development, promotion and succession planning, and retention (or tenure in tenure-track faculty situations).

In this book, Julie Todaro examines mentorship programs in libraries and library organizations. Much of the book is in the form of bulleted lists, which makes it a quick read but which also leads to a degree of repetitiveness. She includes several case study exercises, enabling the reader to practice applying the information. Several lists are particularly useful, including those covering types of mentoring relationships (12-13), typical goals for mentoring programs (38-41), and failure modes (77-88).

As Todaro points out, "the success of any [mentor-mentee] pairing lies in the identification of relationship goals" (22). Chapter 3, "The Value and Benefits of Mentoring," addresses this topic in depth, considering not just the overall goals of mentoring programs in relationship to the organization, but also specific benefits for the mentor, the mentee, and nonparticipants within the organization. …

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